“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I’m 30 years old and have lived in four different cities; Columbus, Orlando, NYC, and now Austin. I have traveled all over the world: Ireland, Northern France and Paris, Belgium, Amsterdam, London, Canada, and Mexico. I’ve traveled across the country and hiked in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been to two Women’s World Cups to watch the USWNT play: 2015 in Vancouver and 2019 in France (both years they won- I’m not saying I bring good luck but is it a coincidence?…totally joking by the way). Not to mention I was able to skip work to watch their ticker-tape parade in lower Manhattan (NYC) with friends (I had the front row on the railing and could tell you every word Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe mouthed….okay not really but I was pretty close). I was able to fulfill a bucket list of mine to watch my Premier League club, Chelsea, play in London.
So enough about the incredible blessings I’ve experienced throughout my life and let me tell you about a few laundry list items I’ve been praying about….thanks to comparison.
I’m 30 years old and still single. Majority of my friends have settled down and are in serious relationships, engaged, or married. Many have purchased their first homes, and are starting to have children. At my age, wedding invitations stock pile and baby showers become your brunch dates.
While I’ll hear the praises of my single, bachelorette lifestyle, I often find myself comparing my timeline to theirs. As much as the single life has suited me well, I surely long to be married and find a partner to do life with. To travel with. To watch the USWNT win more World Cups with. To go on hiking trips together. To watch football with (American or the real football). To go on hiking trips together. To pray with and follow Jesus together.
Here’s the thing: I may not be where I want to be, but I am right where I’m suppose to be. I’m living out the very calling God has called me to.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.“
You are God’s favorite you, and while the world can put timelines on “life accomplishments”, there’s no timeline on God’s plan for you. Each and every one of us was created on purpose for a specific purpose. The world’s definition of success will never align with God’s which His matters most.
Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Every physical detail, trait, and attribute about you are not an accident. The Creator of the universe carefully and thoughtfully designed you to be the perfect you. He knew you before you were born and success to Him is living the life He set out before you. You are His favorite you, and you are the best you. The world needs you to be you because there is no one else like you.
Comparison truly is the thief of joy. It’s an old, but easy tactic the devil uses to distract us and make us feel lesser than. To shrink us down causing us to feel unworthy. Yet our Heavenly Father calls us worthy single or married, a successful career or stay at home mom (or dad), one million Instagram followers or two, living in a condo in LA or a small ranch in the Midwest.
Comparison robs us from the appreciation of the presence and the journey of where we’re at in life. We’re always going to envy someone else’s lifestyle or possessions; even after we acquire what we’ve been desiring.
Comparison blinds us from what God is doing and forming in our lives. It holds us back from living fully and freely where we’re at because we’re too busy coveting what we think will make us happy.
Comparison can make us feel small, determining our value and worth based on earthly possessions and imaginary timelines. It reminds us of our failures and weaknesses which falsely convinces us of what we aren’t worthy of. Newsflash: you are worthy and whatever negative thought that comes through your mind is not of God.
Whoever you are that needs to hear this; you are seen, you are loved, you are worthy, and you are right where you need to be. You are the best you. You have a purpose on this earth because God said so. You are His favorite you, and He his not comparing you to anyone else. You are free from timelines and expectations. You are free to live out your calling and where you’re currently at.